Quinoa, Parmesan & Spinach Stuffed Butternut Squash

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

One of the things I love about eating healthily is that it is so much more colourful than eating unhealthily! Whilst unhealthy food is so often beige, healthy food can be made up from all of the colours of the rainbow! Case in point this delicious, and totally syn free, stuffed butternut squash which is not only one of my most delicious recipes of recent weeks but also one of the most beautiful! 

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

I was inspired to cook this by another blog which I read avidly, Easy Peasy Foodie, on which I saw one of my favourite recipes of 2016, also a stuffed butternut squash and also so brightly coloured it makes you want to dive into the page and eat it straight away! You can find the Cranberry, Feta and Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash here, and whilst you’re at it make sure to have a look around the Easy Peasy Foodie’s other amazing recipes! Having been so blown away by how lovely the recipe looked I couldn’t not try my own version, adapted to be syn free of course, with my own flavour combo. I’m so pleased that Eb, the genius behind Easy Peasy Foodie, put me onto this style of dish because it went down an absolute storm when I cooked it this Christmas!

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

I decided to cook this for a party we had on the 27th for close friends and family as part of our Christmas festivities. My reasoning behind it was twofold, firstly that I had just about eaten all of the heavy food I could stomach on Christmas and Boxing Day and secondly that my vegetarian bestie was joining us for the party and I couldn’t see her go hungry! I have been guilty in the past of being dismissive of vegetarian food, because I am an avid meat lover to my core, but one of my missions for 2017 is to familiarise myself with a wider variety of vegetarian dishes! Often I think vegetarians are provided with the same options time and time again (mushroom risotto anyone?!) so by putting recipes like this on the menu I hope not only to expand the horizons of any of my vegetarian readers but also to give a few ideas of great veggie based dinners to my meat loving followers too! After all, as a dear friend suggested to me recently, we could probably all do with cutting down our meat intake at least a little bit…

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

This recipe is not only wildly healthy for just about any diet, but is also absolutely syn free on Slimming World! It makes an excellent dish to have hot or cold, so could be made up for work lunches or as the centrepiece for your dinner, and is perfect for keeping you on the low carb end of the spectrum! As it is Stuffed with quinoa it isn’t suitable for SP days however you could adapt it slightly to make it so. 

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

I am personally totally in love with this meal, and will be rolling it out at every opportunity I have. It is a very versitle dish for a number of reasons, not least that it can either be a main meal split between four or could be shared out as a side dish between more. When split between four it is either totally syn free using a quarter of your Healthy Extra A or 1.5 syns each if you’d prefer to use your healthy extra elsewhere. 

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free  

I decided to mix the quinoa with spinach, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and parsley, in addition to the Parmesan, because it creates a very good balance of flavours. Butternut squash is quite a sweet vegetable and the tomatoes provide a slight acidity alongside this, whilst the pomegranate seeds give both a different texture and a clean crisp flavour! The parsley and Parmesan together provide a more savoury taste which balances out the sweetness perfectly, giving you an overall perfectly balanced meal! You are of course totally free to play around with what you fill the butternut squash with, and it can even be a good opportunity to use up any leftovers you have in the fridge. If you’d prefer to steer away from the vegetarian roots of this recipe then you can of course mix in cooked bacon, chicken, steak or even fish and seafood to switch things up!

Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

Serves 4

Quinoa, Parmesan & Spinach Stuffed Butternut Squash

A stunningly colourful and totally syn free butternut squash recipe!

60Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1x Butternut Squash
  • Fry Light
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Handful Fresh Spinach
  • 30g Grated Parmesan Cheese (vegetarian options available)
  • 2tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
  • 10x Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
  • 200g Quinoa
  • Handful Roughly Chopped Parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Halve your butternut squash and scrape out the seeds.
  3. Lay it on a baking tray and spray it with Fry Light. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and roast in the oven for 50 minutes or until it is soft enough to easily stick a butter knife into.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions and then mix in the tomatoes, spinach, half of the pomegranate seeds and two thirds of the Parmesan.
  5. Season the quinoa mix with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley, retaining a bit for garnish later.
  6. Take the butternut squash out of the oven when it's cooked. Tip out any water that has accumulated in the dips.
  7. Using a spoon scrape out a larger dip along each side of the butternut squash, leaving a few centimetres around.
  8. Mix the scraped out butternut squash into the quinoa and then spoon the mix back into the grooves. Heap it as high as you like and then sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.
  9. If desired pop it back in the oven for 2 minutes to melt the Parmesan (this won't cook the pomegranate seeds it'll just melt the cheese).
  10. Garnish with the rest of the pomegranate seeds and parsley and serve hot or cold!

Notes

Syn free using a quarter of your HexA each between four people. 1.5 syns per portion if not using your HexA.

7.8.1.2
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https://basementbakehouse.com/2017/01/quinoa-parmesan-slimming-world-spinach-stuffed-butternut-squash/

DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS RECIPE TO MAKE LATER!
Syn Free Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parsley and Parmesan - Slimming World - Recipe - Vegetarian - Healthy - Stuffed- Butternut - Squash - Syn - Free

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    02/01/2017 at 4:21 am I'm ready for vegetable overload after all those holiday treats. This looks fabulous! So creative!
  • Reply
    Eb Gargano / easypeasyfoodie.com
    02/01/2017 at 11:41 am Love what you've done with this, Cliona :-) Such fab flavours and I love how healthy it is! Perfect for January. Thanks so much for the kind mention too!! :-D Eb x
  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    02/01/2017 at 1:08 pm I have stuffed squash before but never butternut. It has such a sweet mild flavor I'm sure it's the perfect backdrop for this quinoa. Love your addition of pomegranate arils too. I put them in everything when they are in season!
  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    02/01/2017 at 1:56 pm I absolutely love butternut squash! This sounds amazing!
  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    02/01/2017 at 2:52 pm Great idea! I just invented a veggie burger last night with most of these ingredients but when it came time to saute it eventually fell apart. Love this idea. Thanks!
  • Reply
    Willow | Will Cook For Friends
    02/01/2017 at 3:29 pm Stuffed squash like this are one of my favorite kinds of dishes -- so hearty and flavorful, but still super healthy! I'm like you, a meat eater, but I love mixing up my meals with vegetarian and even vegan dishes. I feel like it pushes me to be more creative and try new things, and of course, it means more people can enjoy my food. Bonus!
  • Reply
    Rhiannon Williams
    02/01/2017 at 8:53 pm I tried this recipe today using the limited food I already had in the fridge. Easy to prepare and I like the fact you can be flexible with the contents. I mixed peas and bacon with the quinoa and squash. However in future I'll be looking to use mushrooms,peppers, pine nuts, chicken, tomatoes, sweet corn. The list is endless.
  • Reply
    Mandy
    03/01/2017 at 9:19 pm Looks just as lovely as Eb's original Cliona! I'm sure your friend was delighted that you'd gone to the effort to make something special just for her - I'm a veggie too and I sympathise with the mushroom risotto overload! Thanks for linking up with #CookBlogShare
    • Reply
      Cliona
      05/01/2017 at 9:09 pm Thanks Mandy! I really loved this, I'm making an effort to eat more veggies this year! X
  • Reply
    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    06/01/2017 at 4:05 pm This looks absolutely scrummy Cliona, and butternut squashes lend themselves so well to being filled don't they. I have to agree, as a vegetarian we are last to be thought of and often do have a very limited menu to chose from when eating out. I tend to find that there's always goats' cheese on the menu - which happily I like - but can definitely get a bit samey! Angela x
    • Reply
      Cliona
      09/01/2017 at 10:07 am Thanks Angela! I admit I haven't always catered for veggies as well as I perhaps should have so I'm making a big effort to do so this year! x
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